Parents who divorce need to think about how they will take care of their children while they no longer live together. While developing a parenting plan can be tedious, the more detail you put into it ahead of time, the less kinks you will run into later.
Your post-divorce self will thank your present-day self for thinking through details on scheduling holidays and other special events with your children. You may also want to include protocol in your custody schedule for how far in advance you will schedule annual events and how you will take care of last-minute changes to the schedule.
A key detail of a parenting plan involves including exactly when you and your ex will have parenting time obligations throughout the year. Aside from standard parenting time, it might also be helpful to decide which parents will spend time with the kids on holidays or breaks from school. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you will decide that your children will spend spring breaks with one parent indefinitely. Instead, you can think about how often you’d like to schedule out parenting time during special events. Maybe this is something you’d like to review once a year or maybe every two months. No matter which frequency you choose, you’ll want to spell out your follow-up plan within your parenting plan.
Schedule change requests
Since last-minute emergencies happen and plans can change, it can also be useful to think of a specific way that you’d like to address schedule change requests. This may include a list of conditions that warrant a schedule change request, how far in advance you’d like to receive a request and a limit of how many changes you’re willing to make a year. Having a dedicated platform, like an online calendar or co-parenting app, where you manage these requests can also help streamline the process.
Setting rules and expectations before co-parents separate from one another can prevent arguments further down the line.